A Poem on Ego: Pride and Power by Deola Adelakun


Briefs of the Poem

The poem warns against pride and power abuse. He shuts the doors at those that are full of themselves and spells out the consequences. the poet sees what anyone has as an advantage, not by power or might. Therefore, there is nothing anyone can be proud of.

The poet advises that people should not be money intoxicated and if we are in any position, we must not use that position to take advantage of others or cheat others, or dominate them.

Pride is accompanied by disgrace if it has been a regular habit of people. Also, if you think you have more power and influence than others, you should not abuse it.

Power is shifting. The position is not forever. Remember, it is because you are in power or position today, that is why you are relevant. Once you leave the position if at all, you will be less reckoned with.

The poet warns proud people and power drunks to be careful because death can strike anybody at any time.

      Practice Questions

  1. The Kilimanjaro mountain is _____________ (a) the highest in the world (b) the highest mountain in Africa (c) the highest mountain in the continent (d) the highest mountain in Asia.
  2. The consequence of pride is ________________ (a) disgrace (b) fire (c) jail (d) beat
  3. The poet warns against __________________ (a) fury of fire (b) power abuse (c) cold (d) arrogance
  4. The final consequence of misuse of power is ________________ (a) pleasantness (b) disease (c) weeping (d) death
  5. What figurative expression is ‘A heap of coal’ _________________ (a) simile (b) personification (c) metaphor (d) hyperbole

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Knowledge Needed for the Analysis of Poems

Poetry as a piece of literary work, whether spoken or written, expresses and communicates thoughts, ideas, experiences, feelings, and emotions beautifully using imagery, rhythm, and sound. It is usually written in verse with lyrical effects.

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To achieve effect, the  poet, chooses words that convey meanings through their sounds and that also create images in the readers’ minds. Poetry has music, rhythm, and rhyme.

That is words in a poem are arranged in lines, usually with a repeated rhythm, and sometimes with a rhyme in the end. The ideas in a poem are arranged into lines and stanzas.

To analyze a poem, a reader needs to understand how the poet uses words and sounds devices to create images and to bring out his meaning. Thus, the following elements which give poetry its uniqueness in language and meaning will be treated.

The following are major forms of poetry: narrative poetry, satirical poetry, dramatic poetry, and lyrical poetry.

       Features of poetry

  • Poetry is written in verse, in the form of stanzas and lines.
  • Poetry is metrical in arrangement.
  • It is usually lyrical.
  • It makes use of figurative language.
  • It expresses a thought, ideas, and experiences sometimes in a concise form.

       Types of poetry

  • Ballad: the word ‘ballad’ is out of current use. The poem derives from the village festival and is not often written but handed down orally from generation to generation, e.g. Ekun iyawo, Ijala Ode, etc.
  • Epic: This poem narrates heroes and their needs, e, g Milton’s Paradise Lost, Soyinka’s guidance
  • Elegy/Dirge: The poem of lamentation and a song of mourning and a sorrowful event such as the death of a bosom friend, Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
  • Lyric: A poem to be sung to the lyre. It is sung during g burial of the dead or marriage ceremonies, e.g. J. P. Clarks Streamside Exchange
  • Ode: An ode is a written or spoken poem addressing somebody or something to mark a special occasion.
  • Pastoral poem: this poem celebrates the lives of county try and people.
  • Narrative poem: This is a long poem that tells a story, e.g Samuel Coleridge’s The rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.
  • Panegyrics/Eulogy: It is a praise poem dedicated to the glorification (praising) of the attributes or qualities of a person, an animal, a place or event, and an object.
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          Tools to consider in analyzing poems

  • Stanzas/Rhymes: This is the division in the formal pattern of a person. It could be two, three, or more lines. Rhyme is the exact correspondence in sound or word-ending, usually at the end of each poem. The arrangements of the stanzas should be considered. Learn how they are arranged below.
  1. A two-line stanza is known as a couplet
  2. A three-line stanza is known as a triplet
  3. A four-line stanza is known aa s quatrain
  4. A five-line stanza is known as quintet
  5. A six-line stanza is known as a sestet
  6. A seven-line stanza is known as a septet
  7. An eight-line stanza is known as an octave
  • Rhythm: This is a metrical movement determined between sounds and events.
  • Tone/mood: These are feelings or state of mind of the poet. It is the frame of mind in which the poet was when composing his work.
  • Atmosphere: This is the prevalent mood, feelings, and thoughts or actions of people in a poem.
  • Enjambment: This is also known as (run-on-line). It occurs when the ideas in a line of verse move from one line to the join that follows it.
  • Imagery: It is the use of words to form mental pictures. A poet could use words to draw a picture of situations whose ordinary words cannot convey effectively.
  • Metre: This is the arrangement of the stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem to give a particular rhythmic effect.
  • The content of the poem: The content is the main body of the poem and you should understand the message and subject matter., The structure of the poem: the structure of the poem is to be considered, such as stanzas, verses and lines.
  • Language and style of the poem: The style, figures of speech, and theme are to be considered. The style is the way the language is structured. It is the manner the poem is done. The theme is the central idea and the dominating point of the poem. The figures of the speech are simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, irony, euphemism, etc.
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